Former Proteas head coach Ray Jennings has thrown his support behind Aiden Markram to replace Faf du Plessis as the country’s new Test captain.
Du Plessis stepped down as captain of the Test and limited-overs teams earlier this year and while Quinton de Kock replaced him as the new leader in the shorter formats, Cricket South Africa is yet to announce who will take up the role as the new leader in red-ball cricket.
Temba Bavuma and Dean Elgar have since emerged as the two strongest candidates for the responsibility after CSA made it clear that De Kock will only captain the limited-overs games to ease his workload as opening batsman and wicketkeeper.
In an interview with Afrikaans website Netwerk24, Jennings gave his vote to Markram, who also in some sections is seen as a possible replacement for Du Plessis, having captained the Proteas in ODI cricket in the past.
‘A captain should find his purpose. Fans should be hanging on his lips and he should almost be like a famous and likeable politician. Aiden is sincere and soft and is a very good speaker. I believe people will find purpose in him,’ said Jennings.
Markram was captain of the South African U19 team, who under Jennings’ management, won the 2014 World Cup in the UAE, becoming the first-ever Proteas team to win a World Cup.
‘It is almost as if Mark Boucher should find himself a wife again when the new captain gets decided upon. He already worked with Aiden at the Titans and that will count a lot. The captain should be a good person and that’s why Aiden is in the front of the queue for me,’ continued Jennings.
‘Although Markram’s form with the bat was not the best before he got injured, every batsman goes through a difficult phase with their batting at some stage. Even if it means Boucher and his coaching staff let him bat at five or six in the order, instead of opening the innings, as long as his leadership abilities can be used.’
Markram has been struggling for runs the past year and suffered a self-inflicted wrist injury during the Proteas’ troubled tour of India last year, before breaking his thumb during the first Test against England in Centurion in December.
He did, however, enjoy a rewarding return to the game earlier this year when he scored some decent runs for the Titans during the Momentum One-Day Cup.
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